In my research in learning more about ho human growth and height works, on of the questions that I always wanted to answer was whether there have been any famous people like actors, musicians, or athletes which have used ways to increase their own height. It turns out there have been quite a few stories of people who have tried in their younger years to grow taller.
One of the most famous athletes of all time Michael Jordan infamously stated that he would hang on a bar to increase in height. I actually wrote a post about that. Michael wanted to be 7 feet tall but he probably was not genetically designed for that since his family members were all average height, which his late father being the tallest at 6 feet and his brother being 5′ 7″. How Michael got to be so much taller than the rest of his family is not fully understood.
There are also stories of many other basketball players trying to get taller. I heard a few about argentinian player manu ginobli who used growth hormone therapy but my research has not validated that claim.
However, the one famous person that has been very public about his attempts to increase his stature is who many people would consider the best futbol (soccer for Americans) player in the world right now. He is Lionel Messi. I have looked at many resources and some stated that Messi is currently the shortest male professional soccer player in the world at only 5′ 7″. Personally I don’t think 5′ 7″ is that short but I guess when it comes to being any professional athlete , one is expected to be at least above average in size compared to most of the world.
Messi was diagnosed very early in life with a growth hormone deficiency and the doctors wanted to put him on GH therapy but his parents couldn’t afford the $900 /mth bill for it. Eventually Messi’s soccer skills impressed a local soccer club so much that they agreed to pay for the GH therapy if Messi would play for the Spain teams.
From Resource 1 (authspot) …
If only hormone therapy, body footballer Lionel Messi can be high 150s just centimetres. Growth hormone deficiency (growth hormone deficiency), Messi, thus high stuttering and this is also felt by many millions of children around the world.
As quoted from AskMen, Thursday (8/4/2010) Barcelona striker was born June 24, 1987, may have health problems at the age of 11 years who have growth hormone deficiency (growth hormone deficiency).
And then he played soccer in his native Argentina. Barcelona management who saw his talent, finally willing to pocket U.S. $ 900 per month for hormone therapy with the proviso that Messi will play in the Spanish club. With hormone therapy, Messi managed to add height to 169 cm. For the size of Indonesia, the level of Messi is still pretty good. But for the size of football players the world average of 180 cm, of course Messi looks small. But that does not have an optimal height, Messi is still a career like any other ball players and became one of the best soccer player in the world. And the problem of hormone deficiency can be cured with hormonal therapy.
Growth hormone deficiency is one of the disorders of the pituitary gland (a small gland located at the base of the brain). This gland produces growth hormone and other hormonal functions. When this gland can not produce enough hormones, then growth will be slower than one another.
In children, growth hormone is required to help develop optimally. While in adults, this hormone is useful to maintain the proper amount of body fat, muscle and bone. If the amount of hormone is very low or non-existent, it can cause emotional fatigue and lack of motivation symptoms.
as quoted from Emedicinenet, a growth hormone deficiency disorders can occur at any age and do not always appear in the children. The disorder may be caused by congenital (from birth) or because of certain conditions (after birth). Growth hormone deficiency present at birth may be associated with abnormal pituitary. Some things can cause a lack of growth hormones,
2. Brain tumor
3. Injury or radiation to the head.
4. in some cases, the exact cause could not be identified.
Growth hormone deficiency in children can occur with symptoms such as low body growth, low and slow growth stage of puberty, an increasing number of fat around the waist, which delayed dentition, as well as the possibility of a child will look younger than other children their age. If this disorder occurs in adults, the symptoms that occur as the body lacks energy, reduced strength, decreased muscle mass, body mass accumulation in the waist, anxiety and depression that can lead to behavioural change, as well as the dry skin of the body.
Curative treatment can be administered in the form of hormone therapy hGH (human growth hormone, somatropin) is given to children who have growth hormone deficiency and short. As for patients who have problems with hypopituitarism, may require the adrenal and thyroid hormone therapy. When entering puberty, a person can be given sex hormones. However, for hormone therapy in adults are still having a debate. There are concerns improvements in body composition and its capacity will not provide the same effect. The most common side effects occur is swelling of the hands, stiffness, pain in muscles and joints as well as insulin resistance. Because of the care provided to adults must be absolutely correct.
Most cases of growth disturbance can not be prevented. One way to find out is to pay attention to the growth charts while still a child, if growth slows or fixed then it should immediately be consulted. Although until now there is no definitive explanation why someone can have less growth hormone, but one method to try to prevent this is to consume adequate nutrition and balanced. Because proper nutrition can help the growth process.
From Wikipedia article on Messi HERE…
At the age of 11, Messi was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency. Local powerhouse River Plate showed interest in Messi’s progress, but did not have enough money to pay for treatment for his condition, which cost $900 a month. Carles Rexach, the sporting director of FC Barcelona, had been made aware of his talent as Messi had relatives in Lleida and Messi and his father were able to arrange a trial with the team. Rexach, with no other paper at hand, offered Messi a contract written on a paper napkin. Barcelona offered to pay for Messi’s medical bills if he was willing to move to Spain. Messi and his father moved to Barcelona where Messi enrolled in the club’s youth academy.
From Sports Illustrated website HERE…
Editor’s note: The following is an exclusive extract from Graham Hunter’s new book, Barca: The Making of the Greatest Team in the World.
Rosario, Argentina, 2000. Leo Messi is 12 years old and, although coveted by both Newell’s Old Boys and River Plate, neither club can afford the approximate $1000 per month across two years for the growth hormone treatment that will correct a deficiency and allow him to reach his natural height at a normal rate of growth. His father, Jorge Messi, had persuaded his employers and another local business to sponsor the initial cost of treatment, but that, too, has become unsustainable.
The story of the boy who would become the world’s greatest soccer player needed an another hero.
So it was that two Argentinian intermediaries in Buenos Aires heard about this amazing kid who couldn’t grow properly. They phoned a contact, Horacio Gaggioli, in Barcelona, who brought into this drama a central character — Josep Maria Minguella, a ubiquitous figure in the modern history of FC Barcelona and an extraordinary man.
Minguella was taken on at FC Barcelona as a translator to the English coach Vic Buckingham back in 1970. He became a coach, the manager’s assistant, a youth-team organiser, a scout and a player agent. He’s also the man who brought Diego Maradona, Romario, Hristo Stoichkov and, finally, Leo Messi to the Camp Nou.
Minguella recalls the process of being convinced by Messi’s talent, and then trying to convince others. “I first saw him when he was 12 and he was not big,” he told me. “Physically, there were doubts whether he’d ever become a good footballer in Europe, but as soon as I saw the videos it was like seeing the light. I believe Leo comes from a marvelous planet, the one where exceptional people like violinists, architects, and doctors are created. The chosen people.
“He was instantly similar to Maradona. Left foot, No.10, same mentality. All kids like him wanted to be playmakers, to emulate Maradona, but I knew there were both serious possibilities and serious problems.
“Barça were not too interested. They said, ‘It will be 10 or 12 years before we see the benefit’. I was determined, so I paid his ticket across to Spain, him and his father, and installed them in the Plaza Hotel in Plaza Espanya.
“In the training sessions the coaches could see what he had, but there were weeks of discussions, because some directors thought he was too small, some liked him, but no-one would take decisions. I called Charly Rexach, who had been my friend for years, and was a football advisor to the Barça president, Joan Gaspart. Charly prepared a friendly match.”
It was played on the outside pitches at the Mini Estadi (the smaller stadium next to the Camp Nou, where Barça B play), hard, flat artificial turf, and Messi, despite being under-developed for his age, played with kids of age categories above his — and he shone.
“Charly saw immediately what others had been scared to commit to,” said Minguella. “But things had dragged on for so, so long by that stage that Leo’s dad was frustrated and losing faith. So we went up to Pompeii tennis club in Montjuic, where I was the president. I was confident in Rexach, but the Messi family had been here one month or more and they thought it was all going wrong.
“Therefore, famously, Charly took a paper napkin, laid it on the table and wrote: ‘In Barcelona on the 14th of December 2000 and in the presence of Mr Minguella, Horacio Gaggioli (representing the Messi family), I, Charly Rexach, technical secretary of FC Barcelona, use my position, despite there being some whose opinion is against it, to commit to signing the player Lionel Messi so long as everyone sticks to the financial terms we agree on.'”
However, time was running out. Jorge Messi was tired of being messed about.
He had ended up in a similarly frustrating mess with River Plate a few months previously and now, on the other side of the world and separated from the rest of the family, Barça appeared to be making fools of themselves and the Messis.
By this stage — although Minguella swears he would never have contacted Real Madrid — Barça’s great rivals were aware of this phenomenal prospect, and of the slow progress being made with the Catalan club. Messi didn’t have a professional contract in Argentina and a coup would have been straightforward.
Taking on faith that the weird ‘napkin-contract’ was valid, father and son re-committed to Barça, Jorge was promised a paid role (at around €42,000 per year) within the club’s youth development and scouting system and his son’s career at the Camp Nou began. Well, almost.
It still took until March 2001 for a full junior (rather than professional) contract to be signed, during which another of the heroes in this story, Joan Lacueva, Barça director general at that time, also tired of the club’s flat-footedness and began paying for Messi’s growth hormone treatment out of his own pocket.
“I was the director general, in charge of administrating youth football at Barça. I was aware there was a player taking trials at Barça, a certain Leo Messi. Josep Maria Minguella came to me and said, ‘I’ve got this kid who’s going to play for the first team one day. I like him a lot and we need to find out why his dad isn’t happy and why things aren’t progressing as they should be. I want to get this sorted out’.
“I went to the head of the sporting side of the fútbol base [Barcelona’s academy system] and said, ‘There’s a player we’re trialling and I need to know everything about him so that I can decide whether to push this through or not’.
“The more I spoke to all the coaches the more I heard the same incredible reports, so I insisted that we needed to sign this guy.
“Whilst all this was happening, a meeting had taken place, at the father’s insistence, with Carles Rexach, the technical director. They met at the tennis club and signed on that famous napkin. It was obviously not a legal document, so Messi’s father came to see me that afternoon.
“I couldn’t produce an official document immediately because the board had to agree it first, so I decided to copy the agreement on the napkin onto official club stationary, which I then signed. From there it went to the board, where it had a mixed response. Some directors were supportive, but others considered that, at 13 years of age, the lad was far too small and was more suited to indoor, five-a-side, or even table football.
“The proposal was that we pay this kid more than we had ever paid a player at his stage, but by the end of the meeting they had agreed to start the process of signing Messi to the club.
“I spoke to Josep Borrell in Barcelona’s medical team and told him about the treatment the player required. His advice was to start as soon as possible. That meant someone had to pay for the treatment and, as far as I remember, I paid 152,000 pesetas for the first round of injections. I wasn’t motivated solely by the kindness of my heart, though. Given that Messi wasn’t yet a Barça player, I couldn’t justify paying for it out of the club’s funds and later, when he was playing for the club, I was reimbursed.”
Lacueva is one of those, like Rexach, Minguella and only one or two others, who can sit back in a privileged seat at the Camp Nou, or at home on the sofa, and watch Lionel Messi write footballing history with a sense of immense satisfaction in having participated in signing him in the face of opposition and with intelligence, honour and alacrity.
Me: There are even some people who feel envy or anger against Messi for getting the therapy to increase his height (HERE). From his example, I have read from a few internet forums that there are many young kids who don’t like their height want to go through with the hormone therapy just like Messi. I at this point have no judgement or conclusion on the moral issues with Messi’s choice in getting GH therapy. It is stated a few times that without it, he would have ended up around 150 cm (or 4′ 11″). I would say that without the treatment, he would not have gotten the opportunities in life to play soccer or live a complete life.